Here at the ARC, we work with clients across the country. We recently visited Utah Valley University (UVU) to meet face-to-face with stakeholders for the Year 3 evaluation of their 5-year Strengthening Engagement and Completion initiative. UVU is a comprehensive regional public university serving approximately 35,000 students, offering masters, bachelors, and associate degrees. The initiative is funded through a US Department of Education Title III grant.
The two primary goals of the initiative are 1) to increase completion by expanding opportunities for engaged learning and scholarly activities and 2) to increase student completion by strengthening academic advising and course scheduling. The ARC interviewed key program stakeholders to evaluate UVU’s progress to date; reviewed documentation from the multiple projects funded under the initiative, and observed firsthand how this grant is impacting faculty.
Our on-site visits have helped us to better understand the program, but more importantly, they have helped us build strong relationships with our clients. Our goal is always to provide useful information that can be used for program change and for future planning.
During the next two years, evaluation work will continue to review progress and determine how this initiative, ultimately impacts students, faculty and staff. Next year’s work will include surveys, focus groups, and more key informant interviews.
The side benefit to working with UVU is that we get to travel to beautiful places. After a few days of deep digging on the evaluation, it’s wonderful to get out and explore!